The physical withdrawal symptoms of nicotine are notoriously difficult to overcome, but the psychological cravings for cigarettes can be even worse.To successfully quit smoking, it is important to know the initiators that send you looking for a cigarette and figure out ways to defuse them.
Cigarettes and coffee go so well together that the combination has inspired movies and songs. A 2007 study even found that coffee seems to enhance the taste of cigarettes.
Although cigarettes actually increase physical markers of stress, smokers tend to feel more relaxed after lighting up. So, it’s not surprising that emotional stress is one of the biggest initiators for smoking.
If you quit smoking, make an effort to reduce the stress in your life; take up yoga or meditation, for instance.
For many smokers, cars are a smoking lounge on wheels. You’re bound to have cravings when you’re behind the wheel—especially if you’re late for work and stuck in a traffic jam—and while you can’t avoid them altogether, you can make it harder for yourself to sneak a cigarette.
For starters, remove your car’s cigarette lighter and fill the ashtray with hard candy or gum (you might even try nicotine gum).
As with coffee, many smokers enjoy pairing cigarettes with a glass of wine or beer.
Experts suggest that you scale back your alcohol consumption or even stop drinking altogether right after you quit. After a few months, when the nicotine cravings aren’t as strong, that second glass of wine won’t be as hazardous.
For many smokers, the cigarette after a good meal is the most delicious one of all, and the urge to light up often hits as soon as they drop their fork.
To resist post-meal cravings, get up from the table immediately after eating and do something enjoyable to distract yourself, experts recommend.
The areas outside office buildings and restaurants where smokers congregate are like quicksand for people trying to quit. If you find yourself walking by a group of co-workers or friends who are merrily puffing away, don’t get sucked in. If possible, find a way to avoid them—use another entrance or tweak your schedule.
If your friends head outside for a cigarette, don’t go with them and pick up the conversation when they return.